British High Commissioner writes on doctors' fees on last day of office
Sir Vincent Fean, High Commissioner, British High Commission, Ta' Xbiex.
I am grateful to Anton Borg (January 6) and even more grateful for his good work in my country for the last 20 years. His choice sums up the natural partnership between Malta and the UK.
My letter of December 19 should have drawn attention to the introduction from January 1, 2006 of the EU health insurance card, which has now replaced the E111 form for health care across the national borders of the European Union.
Cynthia Busuttil's article of January 17 got it right. May I encourage Maltese travellers to the UK to obtain this card, available from the Entitlement Unit of the Health Department in Valletta, headed by Shirley Sultana.
I have checked the situation on health care for Maltese citizens temporarily resident in the UK. In parallel with the EU provisions, guaranteed by the EU health insurance card, we have a UK-Malta bilateral agreement on health care.
Under the agreement, any Maltese citizen temporarily resident in the UK and who requires immediate treatment "shall be entitled to receive health care under the provisions of UK legislation on the same conditions as a citizen of the UK".
So that's good. Of course, doctors may not always agree with their prospective patients on what requires immediate treatment - but that issue transcends nationality!
I write this on my last day in Malta as High Commissioner (January 27). May I wish all readers well.